Elizabeth Bara and Tom Arsenault have recently returned from visiting both the ASAP Malawi program and the ASAP Zimbabwe program. In Malawi, some days were spent meeting field officers in the rural areas where the projects are implemented. They were able to meet many of the Village Savings and Lending (VS&L) club members and hear firsthand about the various activities of the project.
One of the members is doing a great beekeeping project with ten beehives. Some are doing piggery, some fowl and eggs while others are cooking doughnuts and cakes. The majority of members are buying and reselling for their income generating projects. Buying and reselling involves quite an number of different products such as tomatoes, dried fish, clothing, flip-flop shoes, various nuts, vegetables and many others. There are even a couple of groups doing larger whole group projects – making and bottling achar (a type of relish) and fruit jam.
The Malawi program is relatively new and it is so exciting to see how these women have gone from zero to having their own money for school fees and farming inputs as a result of the training from ASAP field officers. And they all certainly expressed how happy and grateful they are for ASAP’s extensive training in VS&L.